Reimagining Coastline
Mangrove Deforestation

‘I belive in God, only I spell it nature.’

Frank Lloyd Wright, Truth Against the World: Frank Lloyd Wright Speaks for an Organic Architecture.

Rethinking City & Ecological Systems



Karachi PakistanDefense Phase VIII near Malir River, Karachi Pakistan

DHA Phase VIII - Karachi, Pakistan - Possible SiteDefense Phase VII , Karachi Pakistan

Indus Delta Area NESA Research Fellow at ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
Mangrove Density, Indus River Detla. N/ESA Research

The site is located in the coastal city of Karachi, Pakistan. The city hosts a semi-arid climate with 2 rivers flowing through it into the Arabian sea. The site is situated on the coast line around the area where Malir River flows in the sea. The design process and site scale would be big enough to accommodate multiple scales from master plan level to individual prototype design.
This site is chosen because the urban and architectural factors would allow the thesis topic to be engaged thoroughly. The site hosts both fresh water source as well as sea water in its close vicinity creating several opportunities to engage with the boundary between water and city. Focus would be on addressing the problems related to mangrove depletion on site. This is essential because Mangrove forest not only provide habitation ground for aquatic wildlife but also provide typhoon shelters and other process that are neccessary for healthy eco system. These problem include heavily polluted water bodies, deforestation due to imbalance in natural production and use as well as siltation and erosion. Furthermore the current coastal treatments and developments in Karachi have an arbitrary relationship with water and conditions of the beach.


Central Park, NYCentral Park – NY,USA

Shenzhen Bay plan - SWA Group

Shenzhen Bay – SWA Group

Qianhai Water City - James Corner Field - Reference scale scope

Qianhai Water City – James Corner Field

Historical works include Frank LLoyd Wright’s, Falling water which is designed to morph into the natural waterfall on site to create a natural experience whereas Tadao Ando, celebrated nature through framing water with architectural elements to enhance the tranquility of the design. On the other hand Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux created the Greensward Plan for Central park that focused on activating lake by allowing for water/ice activities.
Contemporary Architects have focused more on water systems for water cleaning and conservation such as SOM through advanced water engineering. On the other hand James Corner Field, while also focusing on sustainability, reimagines the urban coastline relationship through reclamation and subtraction. Furthermore SWA Group as master planners and landscape architects, focus on preservation of natural elements and creating a more fluid relationship between land and ecological systems.
In conclusion, this thesis acknowledges the two discourses by architects and landscape architects where the former is more focused on water systems and experiential properties of water whereas landscape architects that mimic natural eco systems to create activated water bodies and systems. This thesis aims to merge the two discourses in order to unlock full potential of water elements in cities through conservation, preservation, filtration and activation.


Aqua Tower - Studio Gang
Aqua Tower – Studio Gang


Urban Epicenter – Jungmin Nam

James Corner Contour Farming

Contour Farming – James Corner

Foster Partners - West Kowloon Cultural District
West Kowloon Cultural District – Foster + partners

Thesis would initiate by researching current state of water sources, by properties and their relationship to the city. The procedure of such analysis will be through mapping of vital aquatic natural systems as well as other infrastructure pertaining to the city such as waste water systems. This would be done in district scale to accommoadate all systems.
Following that a precedence analysis of smart cities design and other developments around site and in the country would be conducted in relation to the concept. At this stage 3d modelling of site would be done including landscape, urban fabric and infrastructure on site CDA scale.
Initial concept designing of the sites masterplan, in montages, spatial drawings and physical modeling will begin. This would be a circular process of creation, analysis and then creation again. This process aims to be finished by Mid Review.
Prototype development would begin at this stage at a building scale.
Further along, scheme optimization would be performed by fine tweaking masterplan design to prototype design and vice versa.
Production would be the last stage to create diagrams, drawings and models to display and represent the complete idea.


1. Woodman, E., & Harper, P. (Directors). (2014). Architecture and Water [Motion picture]. UK.

2. Sassi, P. (2006). Strategies for sustainable architecture. London: Taylor & Francis.

3. Guenther, R., & Vittori, G. (n.d.). Sustainable healthcare architecture (Second ed.).

4. Rogers, A. (2013). Water and Roman urbanism towns, waterscapes, land transformation and experience in Roman Britain. Leiden: Brill.

5. Jamali, K. (2015, April 28). Depletion of mangroves in sindh: Role of Government Authorities. Lecture, Karachi.


Leave a Reply